Crandon based trolley company celebrates continued growth

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Professional welder and Crandon native Cameron Mcgeshick never imagined the inspiration for his future career would have come on a trip to Disney world at the age of 5.

"I rode on my first trolley and I saw that it was made in Crandon, Wisconsin and I was like no way, I know where that place is,” he said.

Now, nearly two decades later, Cameron has joined dozens of other employees at Hometown Trolley. It's a company that keeps on growing.

"We started out doing about six trolleys a year... increased them to a couple a month and now we are doing 60 plus a year,” said Kristina Dunow, employee Hometown Trolley.

A company spokesperson said they are having one of their best sales years ever after completing a major expansion into a new manufacturing facility. And while the company may be located in a town of less than 2,000, they are leaving their mark on communities nationwide.

"We have trolleys everywhere... from coast to coast! We have trolleys finishing right now for Puerto Rico, Petersburg, Virg; Alpena, Mich.; San Angelo, Texas.... We just delivered three to Laguna Beach, Calif.

As one of just three trolley manufacturing companies in the nation, they sell themselves on their products being American made from the ground up.

The company said they tell me they provide a boost to the Crandon economy not just by hiring local but also by sourcing local. For example, grab straps for the trolleys are made in Crandon, and much of the seating comes from the northwoods as well.

"We have seat cushions that are made by a local company. We purchase our lumber from Argonne Lumber, Lots of True Value, Car Quest, NAPA Parts, so we keep a lot of local suppliers in business.

Rapid expansion in the northwoods isn't without it challenges. One ongoing issue is finding enough applicants to fill jobs.

"It is definitely a challenge with the labor pool up here. With the limited population we are drawing people from the Appleton and Green Bay area that maybe have a cabin or second place up here.

And if you wondering what it costs to own a trolley Donow said they range in price from $150,000 up to $800,000 for a fully-equipped electrical trolley.